Painting For Profit Part 1 & Part 2

Its the start of a new week and also the start of a new Painting For Profit article. So far we have discussed starting out on eBay and how to present both you and your miniatures in your listings. Whilst eBay is a good springboard for the Painting For Profit journey, it is small fry compared to commission painting. So now you’re probably thinking “Why tell me about eBay when I can be making more money elsewhere!?” to
which I would reply “Have patience” and “Why can I read your thoughts?”. This brings me to the focus of this article, building the foundations to give you your best chance at getting painting commissions.


Social Media 

In the age of the internet it is easier than ever to undertake commission painting be it oil on canvas or acrylic on plastic. The main reason for this is the ability to reach thousands of people relatively easily and, most importantly, for free But how do these people find you? Well Social Media is one of the answers. 

Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Reddit are excellent places to advertise your services. There are thousands of hobby enthusiasts who visit groups, communities, circles and sub-Reddit's tailored specifically for Wargaming. Tapping into these sources can be very lucrative but it must be done right. 

It is important to identify these groups early on and to build your ‘followings’ among them. This will give you a firm foothold in which to broadcast your painting services to the world. But how can this be done?

It can be a little daunting at first when you are just starting out so its good to get any help you can. A quick Google search will return countless sites who offer some good tips for building up your social media network. However, I thought that I would share some of the tips I picked up when starting out myself.

One pointer that will apply across all of these is to create new profiles specifically for your commissions if you already have an existing profile. This way you can make it completely public and accessible without having to worry about your personal details. My site specific tips have been categorized below:

Facebook 

The first thing to do is to create a ‘Page’ for your hobby. Here you can post your completed miniatures and build up a following of ‘Page Likes’. You can draw people to these pages by engaging with the many Facebook groups dedicated to Wargaming. Interact with discussions and post your own content, encouraging people to check out your page if they show an interest in your work.

Twitter

On twitter you start off with 0 followers, which means nobody will get to see any ‘hashtag-less’ tweets you make. The first thing to do is target prominent Twitter users in the Wargaming culture, see who is following them and follow the followers. Chances are that at least some will follow you back. This is a good way to get your first few follows. You can also use hashtags to reach people, some of the more popular are #MiniatureMonday where you can show off your completed models and #WIPWednesday where you tweet your in-progress work. If your pictures are interesting enough then you will no doubt begin to pick up a few followers. Once you have a few followers of your own you will be able to make some tweets and potentially get them retweeted, expanding your exposure even further.

Google+ 

As with Facebook you should target Communities based around wargaming and miniature painting. Responding to other peoples questions, engaging in discussions and post your own work on these pages will serve to build up the number of people that have you in their circles. It is also useful to have a Google+ presence if you plan on using Blogger.

Blogging

Social Media is excellent for targeting people who are already using the site but what if you want to attract the people who aren’t on Twitter or Facebook? Well you set up a blog of course. Blogs work as excellent ‘hubs’ for your Social Media Network as they give you a single location in which to channel your followers towards. They are also good for picking up traffic from normal Google searches and if you join a Blog network you can even get traffic from other sites and blogs. 

There are a number of options available to you when starting a blog. They all have their pros and cons which you can learn about HERE. I personally use blogger due to its Google+ integration. You can visit my blog HERE for an example

Be sure to update your blog regularly, although I have rather neglected my own recently. This will give the site some content for anyone who stumbles across it to read. This can be anything from your own personal hobby projects to news and tutorials. Just ensure that whatever you do, it is well written and interesting. It is also important to add galleries of your completed miniatures which will be useful for showing potential customers your painting ability.

Once your blog is set up you should apply to join a blog network. Talk Wargaming operates one which you can apply to HERE. However there are others such as Faeit 212, Tale of Painters and House of Paincakes. The Blog Networks operate with the host site featuring a widget which features the latest articles of the blogs from within its network. These will update with a link to your blog whenever you make a new post and can be an excellent source of traffic providing your title and picture catches the attention.

Other Tips

If you are part of a gaming club be sure to invite them to visit your blog or follow you on twitter e.t.c. Sometimes good old fashioned word of mouth can be just as effective as the internet.

Forums such as Warseer and DakkaDakka can also be useful sources of traffic, simply add your blog to your signature and post on some threads (don’t spam though). This will not only provide links to your site for Google crawlers to pick up on it can also filter readers of your posts to your blog.

If you feel confident enough you could start a youtube Channel or a podcast. By posting tutorials, reviews, battle reports e.t.c you can really help to grow your accessibility. Talk Wargaming has recently started a YouTube Channel so check us out if you’re looking for inspiration. Subscribe to us and we will subscribe back, if we like your videos we may even post some on our site!

Next Time on Painting For Profit

After following this article, and doing a little additional research, you should have a good understanding of how to build your Social Network. Although it may not provide much in the way of monetary gain yet (unless you use advertising) it will prove invaluable when you’re looking for customers. We will be exploring this next week when I take a look at how to set up your own painting service, include pricing and procedures you should follow. 

Follow me on Twitter or add me to your Circles

Do you have any experiences in painting for profit? Share them in the comments section and let us know what you think of the series so far.
 
Top